RMAN Catalog requires Enterprise Edition (EE)
since Oracle Database

Credits go to Cameron Hodge, Malcom and Martin Mäs who all highlighted issues to me following my previous entry about RMAN – and sorry for any disappointment but I wasn’t aware of all these nice little things.

Ok, you’d upgrade your RMAN Catalog to be ready to backup/recover Oracle Database databases and you see this error:

upgrade catalog;
error creating create_deleted_object_seq
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database:
ORA-00439:  feature not enabled: Partitioning

Now you start to wonder as your Catalog Database had been an Oracle Standard Edition (SE) database for quite a while – and of course an SE database does not have Partitioning on. And on the side the Oracle Partitioning Option is licensable option.

First of all this new behavior gets introduced with Oracle Database And as far as I know it is not documented in relation to the “upgrade catalog“.

The valid workaround leads to a new feature called Infrastructure Repository Database – which is always an EE database without the need for extra licensening as all feature will be used only by Oracle internal mechanisms.

Licensing doc:

Infrastructure Repository Databases

A separate single instance Oracle Database can be
installed and used as an infrastructure repository for
RMAN, Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control,
Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) Warehouse, Global
Data Services Catalog, and Grid Infrastructure
Management Repository without additional license
requirements, provided that all the targets are
correctly licensed. It may not be used or deployed for
other uses.

The infrastructure repositories for RMAN, Oracle
Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, AWR Warehouse, and
Global Data Services Catalog can be shared in one
database, or deployed in separate databases. Enterprise
Edition must be used for the infrastructure
repository database(s).

Furthermore the Recovery Manager documentation mentions this:

Creating and Managing Virtual Private Catalogs with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (


Starting with
Oracle Database 12
c Release 1
(, virtual private catalogs can be used
only with the Enterprise Edition of the Oracle
Database. This functionality is not supported for
the Standard Edition.

Now this is a bit misleading as most of you won’t use the Virtual Private Catalogs – but even though you may not use it still some of the functionality is in your catalog already. And therefore every RMAN catalog beginning with Oracle Database must be hosted in an Enterprise Edition database which does not require an EE license.

The next question is:
How do I migrate my catalog into an EE database?

There are two options whereas I’d prefer the one mentioned in the RMAN documentation:

And there are more things to mention:

  • DBMS_LOB package must be present
  • UTL_HTTP must be present

To summarize to successfully upgrade your RMAN catalog:

  • You need to execute this script before upgrading the catalog:
    SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/dbmsrmansys.sql
  • Your database hosting the RMAN Catalog beginning with Oracle
    • Must be an Enterprise Edition database – no EE license required
    • Oracle Partitioning Option must be installed – no Partitioning lincese required
    • DBMS_LOB and UTL_HTTP packages must be present


PS:  Credits for this addition go to Malcom!!! In addition to RMAN Catalog Database now requiring to be in an EE database this database will require the Partitioning Option linked in as well. See MOS Note:1927265.1

PPS: Credits to my colleague, Rui Correia for pointing me to this being recently fixed (in 12.2 and as one-off patch on top of available) – see Bug 20432873 – RMAN – Remove Partitoning Dependency as it causes “ORA-00439: feature not enabled: Partitioning” in Oracle
Standard Edition (Doc ID 20432873.8)

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